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Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Horror, the Terror and Society, Revisited

This is a re-edit of last year's post for November http://truthabouttheone.com/2013.11.01_arch.html

 

Consider the situation of indestructible God, a being alone for all eternity, for the horror that it is. Eternal, there is one thing God cannot do, and that is reach the end of itself.

 

Since we are each and all God, more exactly since we are each a realized face of God, looking into this world, there was a time, many times, actually, we knew and understood this. But the horror of this knowledge, this truth, is unbearable, so we come into this world, and in this world we forget the horror.  That is, we bury this knowledge, this knowledge of the horror of our eternal solitude in our unconscious.  And so we are susceptible to terror, the fearful anticipation that this knowledge will be unearthed and revealed to us.  This is the distinction between horror and terror:  Terror is the fearful anticipation, horror the sickening realization.

 

Of course, we cannot be terrorized of that particular knowledge. The problem here is if we already knew what it was that truly terrorized us, we would be horrified, instead, and that is what we strive to avoid. So we cannot know what the knowledge is that so terrorizes us.  True knowledge terrifies us, which is why we all rely on pseudo-knowledges, substitutes for true knowledge and which come in many varieties.  Each variety of pseudo-knowledge stands in its own particular relation to 'THE TRUTH,' and so provides its own peculiar terrors, its own barriers to a proper understanding of reality.* 

 

 

And can this truth be merely revealed to us, or are our eyes clenched tight against the knowledge, our minds in furious denial?  The eternal solitude of God can be described in words, but what gives the words meaning?  To perceive and understand it, does not a person, to some degree, have to seek out that meaning, to seek out and confront that horror?  That meaning, that horror, is so awful that the person hearing the description rejects the concept, denies the meaning, and the words become empty of emotion.  To perceive and understand eternal solitude, a person must imagine to himself, must allow to himself, the emotional awareness of it. 

 

Consider the Atheist.  He denies the existence of God, so the idea of His eternal solitude becomes an abstract hypothetical, which the Atheist can simply ignore. The alternative assumptions of metaphysical solipsism are also denied, or at least their horrifying conclusion is denied, and the Atheist thus avoids confronting his own essential solitude. There is no God to comfort the Atheist and shield him from this solitude, but the Atheist, alone in the kaleidoscope of his own individual experience, turns his back to it.  But the logic, the why of creation, is sacrificed, and the world becomes either meaningless, or artifice.

 

The Theist, on the other hand, in his terror, denies the logical consequences of his assumptions:  He imagines his God, a being who is supreme in intellect, knowledge and feeling and who is somehow either unaware of His eternal solitude, or uncaring of it. Or somehow the presence of hugely inferior beings, beings both stupid and small, beings whom the Theist describes as really being mere inanimate toys to his God, is, over eternity, an adequate distraction. The authoritarian Theist is not allowed to question this inconsistency, so this inconsistency twists the root of his logic in all his thinking.  The ultimate why of creation, the creation of equals, is thus denied.  His fear of authority blocks the necessary identification with God in his own crippled imagination, and consigns him to inferiority before his God, an inferiority he justifies as God's will. 

 

Neither does the inconsistency of God's supreme intellect combined with God's ignorance of His own solitude arise in the mind of the authoritative Theist.  In him, the terror simply channels his attention, the unconscious threat of its lash confining his mind to emotionally safe channels, occupying his intellect with unending and unresolvable complication.  Once again, the terror of confronting this inconsistency twists logic and stunts thinking, as the acceptance of necessary inconsistency in rational thought is denied, and excess and ultimately foolish consistency cleaved to. 

 

 So even confronted with a description of God's essential solitude, we do not feel the horror, so abject is our terror of it. And so abject is our terror of it, we do not allow ourselves to feel that terror, and so that terror binds our thought, and renders our minds small.**

 

So since we cannot be terrorized of God's solitude, we have to be terrorized of other things. Terror is necessary, because other distraction is always eventually inadequate. 

 

In the avoidance of the horror, where real terror is insufficient, terror is imagined, and if necessary, manufactured.

 

But how does terror work?  One must have something to lose, something precious, something one is emotionally invested in, whose loss one can anticipate with fearful apprehension. But that which is most precious, the God within, one of whose faces we each are, that is the soul, and the souls of others, for that matter, cannot be destroyed. But one can imagine that one's soul, or the souls of others, can be destroyed.  Or corrupted. Or condemned.  And these become sources of terror.  And priests and other purveyors of these kinds of pseudo-knowledge cultivate this terror in their followers, to manipulate them to often unseemly ends.

 

Or the soul can be disregarded, or even denied its existence.  Then substitutes for the soul must be found, things which are- made, and made precious.   So much effort is spent imposing one pseudo-knowledge or another on people, to make them value various things, that they may then be bound by the terror of the loss of those things. But this requires a world of make-believe, a world of mortality, and other beings. And consequence, where the immortal and solitary life of God and the soul is, one way or another, forgotten: This world.

 

 

And this world is full of- things which seem precious, although different people place different values on these different things according to their pseudo-knowledge.  Some pseudo-knowledges move their believers to feel those things which are most precious are one's own life, or the life of others. Indeed, since the essential solitude of God's immortal soul is the greatest aspect of God's horror, the life of others may become more precious than one's own, especially since one ‘knows' one's own soul is immortal. (But so of course are all the other beings one holds dear.)

 

 

And in this world full of things, we have consumer culture, where people are convinced that what is precious are things.  They are attracted by those things, though ultimately they do not satisfy.  But more importantly, they are terrorized by the fear of the loss of those things, and this controls and binds their attention.  And in the US, and many other ‘advanced' countries, we have, to one degree or another, the cult of freedom, and the terror of freedom's loss is used to help keep order.  Indeed, prisons are the nearest approximations this world supplies to the ultimate horror of God's eternity. In particular, lengthy solitary confinement is the closest this world comes to God's eternal aloneness. The fear of such incarceration is thus the nearest approximation we have to the terror of the knowledge of God's ultimate horror.

 

 

So people in situations of horror, and avoiding horror, are kept in line by terror.  Terror is a distraction from the horror.  A source of terror is accorded as an evil.  As long as horror, the horror, is not confronted, there will be terror. Thus there will be evil.

 

 

But even the blandishments of Paradise become a horror, where they are unending and unrelieved, and the contemplation of their actual experience terrifying, and thus avoided.  Visions of Paradise thus retain their attraction to the uncritical mind, and the terror of their loss a goad.

 

But prosperous societies may seek their own destruction, creating enemies and division and poverty, where there were none, rather than endure the banality of abundance. Where evil is not found, it is searched for or created, to provide terror.  The wealthy of a society often take the lead in this, since on them the banality of abundance presses most severely.   They become instruments of terror upon the rest of their society, and so bring terror upon themselves, either directly, by instigating revolution, or indirectly, by causing their own society's collapse, and then being forced to confront the chaos that ensues.          

 

____________________

 

* Pseudo-knowledge is pervasive. Even the term ‘knowledge' generally refers to intellectual construct, stripped of emotional weight, yet it is this emotional weight which provides the ultimate meaning to any knowledge.  Note also this blog itself is a form of pseudo-knowledge.  True apperception of (the truth of) the horror of God's eternal solitude cannot be borne for long, and certainly cannot be transmitted by mere words.  Thus, even with this knowledge, this mere description, terror remains. This blog is, at best, a pointing. 

 

**The inability to feel the terror is not the only emotional limiter of thought.  The inability to feel and express any emotion also binds the mind, and the perception and expression of emotion, laughter, weeping, anger, frees the mind to new thinking. 

11:51 pm est

Friday, October 31, 2014

God Wants

Why does God want?  It is clear that God does want, because otherwise why would He* have created the world?  A changeless, totally transcendent being, perfect and complete unto itself, would not have bothered with any of it.  Or us.

So did He create the world because He wanted to, or  for some other reason?  If He did it because He was compelled to, He wouldn’t be all powerful.  There would be some greater power.  Of course, He could have wanted to create the whole world for just some part of it, but had to create the whole thing because the part of the world He wanted couldn’t exist without the rest of it. This would be a limitation on His omnipotence.  But of course, if He made the world as it is such that He had to create the whole world just so He could get some part of it, then He must have wanted the whole thing anyway. 

So He created the world because He wanted to.  But this raises the further question:  Why does God want what He wants?  Why does God want the world as it is, or at least, as it is becoming? And this raises the question:  What exactly is the world, anyway?   He would have created the world exactly as He wanted it, or such that the world would become exactly as He wanted it. (And He would want the process of its becoming, also.  And indeed, it may be the process of its ever becoming that He wants.)  

Thus those who believe the world to be other than it is, who deny the results of the study of the world, of science, are doing themselves, and their God, a disservice.  Why do they want the world to be other than it really is, or is becoming?  This would be wanting something their God does not want.   Or, perhaps it is more correctly phrased: Why do they want to believe the world is other than it is, since they also want the world to be exactly what it is?    Why do those who want to view the world as other than He created it want to see it that way? 

But of course, they are also God.  So why do they, who are also God, want to see the world as other than it is?  Why do they want to live under a delusion?  They do gain companionship.  And a shared purpose.  But if they live under a delusion, their companions are delusional. And so too their purpose. Or do they really want to live under delusion?

But perhaps it is just part of their becoming.  And part of their becoming is becoming aware of their true nature, and awakening to themselves.

(Of course, by denying the world's true nature, by acting under delusion, they act to make the world other than what it might be. They act to make it something else. But the tools of delusion can only make the world something less than it could be.)

So how do they see it, who deny the world is what it is? For thus they also deny the true nature of God, of which His creation is a reflection.  They deny they are God, of course.  But they  do not deny that what they do, and what they want to do,  is God’s will. Indeed, they are often emphatic that what they do is God's will.

But then, if they are doing God’s will, they are agents of God. And so they see themselves.  Indeed, they often see themselves as the agents of God. But they act on an authority, which they do not question, though such authority is based on a dated, and erroneous view of God and His creation.  They have the will of God, but not the consciousness, not the awareness.  They pretend to the power, but not the responsibility.  They do not ask the why of what they do.  They do not ask why God wills it.

But they, too, are part of the process of God's becoming.  So why does God want them to do what they want? We are taught that God acts out of love, yet many of them, who imagine themselves the agents of God,  act out of hate and anger, and claim that  this is God's will.

What is God, and His world, becoming?  What does He want to become?  And what does He want His world, and those in it, to become?

___________________________

*Some may object to the use of the pronoun 'He'  in referring to God. They may substitute their preferred pronoun. But the same question arises if we use 'She,' or 'It.'  Why did She create the world, as it is, as the world has become and as it is becoming? Why does She want, what She wants?  Or Why did It create the world, as it is, and as the world has become and is becoming?  Why does It want, what It wants? And the same question arises if 'I' or 'You' is substituted.

10:28 pm est

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stewardship

Man is steward to God’s creation.  This is clearly man’s most important task, yet what religion really makes a point of this? (This renders these religions suspect as divine word.) According to the Bible, God created man to dress and keep the Garden of Eden, (his only task,) (Ge 2:15) but over the earth (Ge 1:28) man was given dominion.  Man was commanded to subdue the earth. Man was also commanded to replenish the earth. This seems to be interpreted to mean ‘replenish with more people,’ although the previous phrase is, “be fruitful and multiply,” so for that it seems needlessly redundant. Indeed, stewardship often seems secondary to ruthless exploitation.

Christ has a few parables about stewardship, but they are not usually taken as central to Christianity.

And man is failing in his care of the earth.  The seas are overfished, and turning acidic.   And rising.  The whole planet is warming. Air and water are increasingly polluted.  Soil is increasingly depleted.  Animals are going extinct at an alarming rate, as their habitat is destroyed.

There are too many people, and they consume and pollute too much.  Yet the religious, especially the fundamentalists, hold to the admonishment to be fruitful and multiply, though that was given thousands of years ago, when man was still light upon the land. 

Now mankind is a burden the earth can no longer easily carry, and getting heavier with each passing day.   The question becomes:  Which will happen first?  Will man restrain his appetite in time?  Or will he drive his ecosystem to collapse around him, leaving him bereft and starving for resources?  And what can happen then, save the Apocalypse?

There are those awaiting the Apocalypse:  Why worry about conserving the world, when God is going to trash it anyway?  They don’t think that maybe He has to trash it because they ruined it.

So what can the alternative be?  First attitudes must be changed.  Things must be redefined.  The notion of property, for instance, must be changed.  It can no longer be ‘that which is owned,’ with the implication that the ‘owner’ has the option to exploit or even destroy, but must become ‘that which is used,’ that the ‘user’ has the obligation to conserve what he uses for others both in the present and the future.

The notion of a limit to growth, both in terms of resources consumed and number of people the earth can support, must become current.  This will be difficult, perhaps insuperable.  Everyone wants more, and with a pie that isn’t growing, this can only come at the expense of others.  People will want more, and want more children.  Many will point to the dictates of their religion, and refuse to limit their own behavior. (After all, they are the chosen.  The rest of the world is- inferior.)

Pursuits of the spirit, specifically meditation and the training of the mind, must be encouraged.  Indeed, they should become a part of everyone’s formal education.  The mind must be taught to be able to make itself happy, instead of anxious over whether or not it has this or that possession.    People must learn to make do with fewer material things, and more non-material things.  They must ‘store up treasures in heaven,’ and to value themselves, and each other, more.  The cycle of material desire must be broken.

But this is just the beginning.  Active steps must also be taken.    

10:33 pm est

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Cycle of Desire

Most religions tout the promise of a heaven. It is the reward of the faithful, after they die, for their life of faith. And the faithful believe this heaven is a desirable place, and that they, the faithful, desire it. 

 

But is it a place?  After all, no matter where you are, happiness is really a state of mind.  Granted, some places are better than others, but unless your mind is happy, the place you're in really doesn't matter.  A person can be miserable in what, to others, would be paradise. 

 

Of course, paradise can be hell.  Consider the parable of the man who loved to fish:  A man loved to fish, more than anything else.  He died and went to what seemed to be heaven, a marvelous resort, with numerous staff to attend him, where everyday he could fish. He did.  And every day he caught a big fish, which he brought back to the resort to be prepared for his supper.  And this went on.  But eventually the man who loved to fish grew tired of always catching the big fish, and questioned his host.  His host smiled, and asked him what made him think he had actually gone to heaven.   

 

But the same question can be asked of any heaven which consists of ostensible wish fulfillment:  Do you really want all your wishes granted?  After all, the granting of wishes, particularly material wishes, is really not the point. The point of getting what you want is what getting what you want is supposed to provide, which is pleasure, and happiness.  But pleasure and happiness are states of mind, and can be gotten directly, without the intervention of material desires, (as long as reasonable necessities are taken care of.)  And indeed, the granting of material desires is irrelevant, because it is merely the conditioning of the mind which causes the mind to respond with happiness and pleasure at the granting of its desires. 

 

But the mind's pleasure at the granting of desire is transitory.  The mind soon returns to the (less happy) state it was in before the desire was fulfilled.  And so it must manufacture a new desire, which it then seeks to fulfill so that it can once again experience the glow of pleasure that it experiences in its fulfillment.  This is the cycle of desire which the devotees of Buddhism are instructed to extinguish.  (The cycle of desire is not always obvious.  There are people who are happy being miserable.  For them the cycle of the formation and frustration of their desires makes them happy.)

 

So it is really not the granting of desire which the point.  It is the pleasure, the happiness, of the mind directly which is the point.  And this is the goal of certain forms of meditation, to train the mind to directly experience pleasure and happiness. 

 

But this is arduous. These forms of meditation can demand hours of practice every day.  The mind resists perpetual happiness.  The experience of pleasure and happiness is, in its way, stressful, and the mind wearies of it, returning to its more normal state.

 

So what of the various heavens of perpetual bliss?  Well, if people truly desired it, would they not seek theirs, their bliss, out in this life, like those who practice meditation, instead of occupying themselves with the cares and worries of this world?  After all, it is more state of mind than place. And how better to show you are ready for such a state of mind, such a state of soul, after death than training yourself for it in this life?  Yet, people do not do this, instead clinging to the cycle of desire and its fulfillment. 

 

Is this then, people's true desire?  Or are people merely uninformed, poorly educated by those who themselves are misinformed, in getting what they truly want?  Consider Jannah, the Islamic heavens, various (high) degrees of wish fulfillment for the faithful.  Or the Christian heavens, qualities of perpetual bliss which the faithful, who can achieve these states of closeness to God, (as have many of their saints,) at least temporarily in this life, show no signs of actually doing.      

 

So perhaps, the cycle of desire and its fulfillment is their desire, and this world, then, their heaven.

8:52 pm est

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Perfect

We tend to think of God only in positives. Indeed, we tend to think of God as positively perfect. This naturally reinforces our own good feelings about ourselves, since we are also God.  We each believe this, that we are God, on the most primitive unconscious level.  And it is true. But when we view God in only positive superlatives, we imagine a distorted view of God.  And we flatter our inmost self, and present our conscious self with a distorted view of that self.    

It is more difficult to imagine the negative aspects of God, (who is all things,) since these must, on some level of unconsciousness, be understood as negative aspects of our self.  Thus, to admit that God is also responsible for the evil in the world, as a being responsible for all things, we must admit that we ourselves, being God,  are also responsible for this evil. Externalizing this responsibility, even to creating instead an alternative, external personage, a devil, and making it responsible for all evil, is one way out of our taking this personal responsibility.  When we deny that God is responsible for the evil in the world, we are absolving our own unconscious self.  Yet this evil is part of the world's perfection. 

This also works the other way.  It may be easy for us to admit to our human failings, but difficult to admit that God has these same failings.  That is because, on some level of the unconscious, we regard human failings as mere failings of appearance, or of circumstance,  and not the essential failings that they are.  Unconsciously, at the deepest level, since we are each God,  we regard ourselves as infallible, and perfect.  Thus, it is always a source of dissonance when our perfect plans, which after all always originate from, or always seem to originate from, or at the least always gain the approval , from our 'perfect' unconscious selves,  go awry.   Fallible appearance conflicts with perfect essence.

 This all arises from our imperfect understanding of perfect.  We tend to understand perfect as perfect in an appearance, that is, in the limited aspects which we can appreciate, rather in the complete and total essence which is truly required for something to be truly perfect. Thus, what is truly perfect may have the appearance of imperfection in our limited perspective.  That is we would judge what is truly perfect to be imperfect.  And conversely, we would judge what had the appearance of perfection to our limited perspective, yet which was truly imperfect, as perfect.  We would judge the perfect as imperfect, and the imperfect as perfect. 

Further, that which was truly perfect, such as God, we would imagine as perfect according to our limited imagining, but not according to the totality of truth.  But since a perfect God in essence would appear imperfect to that imagining, so imagining God as perfect in that limited sense implies the imagining of a God who is not truly perfect.  By imagining God to conform to our image of perfection, we result in a distorted image of a God who is imperfect.  

We think God as perfect.  We say God is perfect.  But a God conforming to our image of perfection would be imperfect.

 Of course, we cannot admit that this imagined God is imperfect.  We imagine our image of God is perfect, despite the fact that this image no longer corresponds to reality, the truly perfect God.  This results in idolatry, the worship of our imagining, rather than the true God.

Consider too that we, and our world, are imperfect, (even to our imperfect perceptions,) and therefore what we perceive, and conceive, as perfect is also actually imperfect.  But this imperfection is an aspect of perfection.  For consider, if everything had the seeming of perfection, the world would be maddeningly imperfect indeed.  Yet, this is what heaven is often imagined to be, a place terribly imperfect in essence because it was perfect according to our imperfect judgment.   

We imagine a perfect God without negative aspects.   We are thus at a loss to explain the darker aspects the of reality that is God's creation, which are equally necessary to its perfection.  It is the perfect creation of a perfect God, imperfect as it is. And imperfect as God is.

Of course, none of this means we must not cultivate our garden, in this best of all possible worlds. Nor does it mean we should not strive to improve it.

9:38 pm est

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Welcome God!

     For that is who You are.  Whether or not You choose to believe that You are God,
the One God, that of course is your divine prerogative.
     As for the reality, You are God, whether You want to be or not.  So Welcome!

Here You will find some answers to some questions You may have about Your divine nature, and the nature of Your creation.

     If you are
satisfied with your
life, your faith,your
God, you are
commanded not to
 read this.
But of course,
who am I to
 command You?

           
There is only God.

 God is known by
His works. 



Faith and belief comprise a very important part of our lives. A person's beliefs in many ways define who they are -- how they see themselves, what they want out of life, and more.

On this web site I'll offer a personal account of my own beliefs. I'll describe how my beliefs have changed my life in profound and exciting ways, and how I think they might change the lives of others.

I'll also be sure to provide links to my favorite sites as well as information about organizations that help strengthen or support my beliefs., or provide interesting contrast.
 
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